Banned Instagram Hashtags + Shadowban

Oh, Instagram. The one social media network that confuses the techie within us all! Not to mention, it keeps us guessing, ya know?

Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of my fellow IG buds sharing less than stellar trends:

  • Low engagement
  • Blocked Accounts
  • Unable to follow
  • Unable to gain new followers

I did a little research and found out several interesting things.

First off, if you’ve noticed your pics are NOT being liked or noticed much, you may want to double check your hashtags. There are a TON of banned hashtags out there, and if you happen to be using them, your pictures won’t be showing up on keyword feeds.

So, how do you find out if a hashtag is banned? The easiest way is to manually type in your keyword in the Instagram search bar. If the keyword you typed up bring ups a “no match found” message, then most likely it has been banned.

Keep in mind, some keywords are banned for a few days while others are banned infinitely. Or until the Instagram guru’s decide otherwise. 

Also, you may also want to refrain from cheesy hashtags as they are overused and rarely get the pic traffic that you are looking for. Example: #friends, #fun, etc.

Also, another tip? Avoid shadowban (when your account is hidden from other people finding it) on your account when sharing your link to Facebook. Drop your Instagram link, but be sure to delete the “?” from your link and whatever follows it.

Do you have any tips on avoiding shadowban?

PS> Be sure to join our Free Facebook Group & Pinterest Group Board!

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Pinterest Hacks You Should Know

Okay, I love using Pinterest! I use it for both personal and business outlets.

You can use Pinterest to create menu plans, store future DIY projects, and grow traffic for your web site or blog! The list is endless.

There are two big Pinterest hacks you should know that will help you get more traffic to your blog:

Tip One: Pinterest is NOT a social media network!

This is something I’ve noticed in a lot of blogging circles. People will comment on Pinterest as being their favorite social network. Nope! It’s not. It’s actually a search engine. With that knowledge, it totally changes your game plan, doesn’t it? You’ll start to treat it differently.

Start thinking of it as a search engine instead of a social media network and it will change how you use it overall!

Tip Two: Pinterest needs keywords…just like google!

Yep, good ‘ol keywords are important. Let’s say you write a blog on healthy recipes. Your goal is to make sure your entire profile AND pins are saturated (without being spammy, of course) with keywords related to healthy recipes.

Type healthy recipes into Pinterest and see what other niche keywords pop up. That will be a great starting point to knowing what other keywords to use on your post.

Make sure you add keywords to your short pin description, too!

Want to learn how you can double your Pinterest traffic? Read this article.

Also, be sure to join our awesome FREE community!

What about you? Are you carefully choosing keywords and operating Pinterest as a search engine?

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Two Ways to Declutter Your Life

 

Learning to simplify life is a passion of mine.

I want to learn how to live simply in order to fully enjoy my life. Less things equal more time to do things that I truly love.

There are two key elements that have helped me purge my lifestyle:

One: I learned to focus on weeding out online clutter.

This may seem crazy, but online clutter can have a huge impact on our minds. There are many ways to go about this, but I’ve chosen to limit the amount of on-line news that I read. I keep up with major headlines, but I forgo reading online debates, comments, etc. So much of that aspect of news is wrapped up in negativity, and I don’t need it!

The next area that I tackled was my e-mail inbox. It’s so easy to let e-mails stack up! I’ve learned to weed through my e-mails and archive them as I go on a near daily basis. This keeps my main inbox empty, while still allowing me to access older e-mails as needed.

Two: I learned to purge calendar clutter.

We live in a world that puts a heavy emphasis on “busy-ness”. Somehow, we equate being busy as being godly. I beg to defer. When I purposely keep white space on our personal calendar, it gives me freedom to spend quality time with my family. That means time for family dinner at the table or fresh air on family nature walks.

I’d rather spend my time doing things that have intentional value rather than filling up my calendar with so many events that I miss the most important things in life.

What areas have you learned to simplify? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

 

Like what you read? Be sure to share this on Pinterest!

 

How to Use Twitter to Grow Your Blog

I really enjoy twitter. I have several accounts that I run and have learned quite a bit over the years!

Learning the ropes has taken lots of time, but once you get the hang of it, it’s such a great place to find encouragement AND to share your blog!

The first thing you need to know about Twitter…

It’s not about the followers. I mean yes, followers are important, but it’s also about Impressions that you receive on your tweets. For example, if you tweet about breakfast that morning without a hashtag, chances are a few of your followers will see it and respond. On the other hand, if you tweet about your breakfast with the hashtag #foodies on it then hundreds and even thousands of people can see your post!

It really is that simple.

The second thing you need to know about Twitter…

It is a bloggers paradise! It’s the perfect place to meet new bloggers, share your links and get blog traffic! I get hits EVERY single time I share a link. I try to share a link to my blog or YouTube channel at least once a day. Start your tweet out with a simple recap on what your post is about, include a link to your blog and be sure to end your tweet with a hashtag or two. Also, if your blog link is too long, you can always shorten it using Bitly!

And for kicks, here’s a day by day list of hashtags to help you get noticed on Twitter:

Monday: #MondayMorning

Tuesday: #TuesdayThoughts

Wednesday: #HappyHumpDay

Thursday: #ThursdayMotivation

Friday: #FRIYAY #TGIF

Saturday & Sunday: #WeekendVibes #goals

Have you found an awesome go to hashtag for Twitter? Share below!

PS. Be sure to join our Facebook Community!

How To Start Your Own Blog

In interest of full disclosure, I have been blogging for well over a decade. I’ve had small victories and big victories. I’ve used just about every platform out there.

What can I say? I like to test things and do my own research.

My conclusion?

If you want to start a business, I recommend SiteGround for WordPress.

Going through SiteGround was EASY. I had  my web site up and going in less than an hour! In fact, I had my first article up by the end of the day, and within a month, I had a pin going viral on Pinterest.

Want to start your own side hustle with a web site?

Here’s my quick steps…

Start With  a Basic Plan:

Sign up with SiteGround! They have a step by step process that simplified everything for me.

Once you log into SiteGround, you’ll be asked to pick a particular plan. I recommend starting with  basic plan,then later once you’ve found your groove with blogging you can upgrade your account.

Choose Your Domain Name:

This is your web site address. This is what sets you apart. Ask yourself: What is your goal with your web site? Think of your target audience. For example, I chose Bloggers Share, because I was inspired by the blogging community. So many of my favorite bloggers shared their tips that helped me with my own blogging journey. And now I get to give back by sharing my own tips!

Stick to a niche: 

I highly recommend finding a niche for your blog to center around. Case in point: I blog about blogging, social media, and simple living. I want to be successful with my blog so that I can enjoy a simple life with my family!

Not sure where to start with topics? Here’s  quick list to get you started:

  • Lifestyle Blogs: Centered around faith, family, fashion.
  • Fashion Blogs: Outfit ideas, make up tips, etc.
  • Health Blogs: Healthy recipes, tips, etc.
  • Teaching Blogs: Tutoring tips, learning worksheets, etc.

Once you start a web site, come back and tell me about it! I love getting to know my readers.

This site contains affiliate links. This means I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you purchase through one of the links. Thank you for your support and consideration!

Instagram Captions For When Your Mind Goes Blank

I love Instagram. It is defiantly my go to for social media. It’s hands down the most encouraging community and such a great outlet to find inspiration! With that said, its also my go to place to share pretty pictures.

What can I say? I love taking photos. It’s my art and my outlet. But, it an also be tricky coming up with Instagram captions for every single photo. But, I learned a really cool trick: have a “go to” list for title generators!

Note: I try to share from the heart, but sometimes, I just want to share a photo with a fun caption.

Here’s a list of 13 tips to help inspire you to write better Instagram captions!

  • Share a favorite quote!
  • List five of your favorite things.
  • Ask a question (be genuine!)
  • Share a fun tip related to your niche.
  • State a funny fact about yourself.
  • Give a shout out to your favorite Instagram accounts!
  • Review a movie, book or magazine you recently read.
  • Share your #1 piece of advice for life.
  • Share a favorite scripture!
  • Share snippet from a favorite song or poem.
  • Write an entire sentence using just emojis! (It’s a lot of fun!)
  • Share your testimony!
  • Remanence on a favorite memory from childhood.

Do you enjoy Instagram?

How to Take Better Blog Photos + Free Stock Images

I think one of the biggest questions I hear from other bloggers and social media gurus is: “How do I come up with pictures for my blog?”

It’s an honest question and it’s one that I even ask… and background is in photography. Having time to take pictures, edit, upload, and of course, try to keep to a theme can be daunting at best.

So, here’s my three tips to take better photos for your blog PLUS when you join our Facebook Community you will gain access to FREE stock photos to use on your blog, Instagram and other social media outlets.

Use Natural Lighting When Taking Photos

The best way to up your photography game is to turn off your flash and use natural lighting. If I am taking pictures inside for Instagram, I will often set up my “photo” next to a window or outside doorway. That way I get the best light possible. I also like to take pictures on my back patio. It’s covered which provides shade, yet still gives me that natural looking light!

If you are using natural lighting for landscape or nature photography try to get outside first thing in the morning. Personally, I love the cool crisp lighting of early mornings (the picture in this article? Was taken early in the early morning hours at the beach).  You can also go for “magic hour” lighting which is typically half an hour before sunset.

Stick To A Specific Style or Theme

Overall, you may want to stick with a pretty specific “style” when it comes to your photography theme. Case in point: I like to take nature photos as it provides a more calming effect to blog visitors, plus I actually enjoy editing them.

However, if you are a fashion blogger, you’ll probably want to stick to unique photos of shoe collections, jewelry, flowers. etc. Or if you are food blogger…well, you get the idea. 😉

Try the Flatlay Look

One of the most flattering and easiest forms of photography is using a flatlay style. How do you get that look? To start, you’ll want to purchase foam boards from your local store. Pure white foam boards work great for this! Then you can style your board. Take the picture shooting straight down to create the flat lay effect. If you follow the first two rules that I shared, you’ll be well on your way to Instagram or blog worthy photos!

Get in the Photos, too!

Are you wanting to get in your photos more? You may want to invest in a sturdy tripod. Learn to use your timer settings on your camera and then you’ll be set to take pictures of yourself!

You could also do a photo swap with another local blogger, that way you can take photos of each other for your blogs. Sometimes, you just gotta think outside the box.

What are some of your go to tips for creating awesome images?

Don’t forget to join our community for FREE stock photos!

How I Made Over $300 With My Blog

I think a lot of people are intimidated by making money on-line-especially through web sites. The thing is, if you don’t have a typical business web site, you can still make money with a personal blog! I did it for years and it was such a wonderful (and dare I say FUN?) opportunity.

The cool thing about blogging for money with a personal blog is that you can use any platform. On the flip side, you can STILL start a web site and utilize these tips as well. Just do what fits YOUR lifestyle best.

So, how did I make over $300 in one month?

The first thing I did was sign up for a blogging community that connected bloggers with companies. Within days, I was getting responses to my inquiries.

  •  I signed up to review and write an article about a national company. In exchange, they paid me $200.
  • I signed up for another blogging community and participated in their weekly online marketing meetings (co-hosted by companies). During these meetings, they gave away $100 gift cards. By simply participating on a regular basis, I won!

Do your research and find communities that fit your niche. For starters, I would recommend checking out The Sway!

When you blog, whether it’s a personal bog or a business web site, your #1 goal should be networking within community platforms.

PS. Have you join by Facebook Group for bloggers to help grow your site?

~ Heather

Notice: This post contains affiliate links. This means I may receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you purchase through one of my link(s). Thank you for your support and consideration!

My Number One Tip to Double Your Pinterest Traffic

Be sure to join our Bloggers Share Facebook Community!

I remember the minute my friends told me about Pinterest.  I signed up.

Pinning became somewhat of an Olympic sport…I even had a pin go viral way back when. But, the dust settled and I honestly thought my days of pinning were over.

Then I stumbled on a few bloggers who shared their Pinterest stories.

Had I missed a crucial opportunity for growing as a blogger? Yes. Yes, I had.

I read a free course, downloaded a book on the topic and put what I learned to use.

By implementing just a few habits with Pinterest my numbers now only grew- they doubled and now have nearly tripled in less than three months!

Here’s some stats:

I started with roughly 6,900 views on Pinterest at the end of May.

By the beginning of August, I have reached 19,000 views.

Pretty cool, right?

But, here’s the thing. While several tricks helped, I noticed that one specific tip is what became my personal game changer.

Pinterest Groups! And not just any groups. Viral groups targeted for bloggers like me. These were groups with 10,000 or more bloggers who participated daily. I highly recommend checking out Top Viral Blogs on Pinterest. She has a plethora of viral boards.

Also, another great way to up your Pinterest Game is to check out Pinterest Ninja! Her book is solid. I’m still working my way through it and have learned TONS of awesome tips. I’ll be writing a review soon.

What has been your experience with Pinterest? Would love to hear in the comments below!

PS. Don’t forget to join my Pinterest group for bloggers!

My Favorite Chocolate Protein Shake

I’ve never been one of those people that can stomach typical off the shelf protein shake mixes. Too…chemical tasting for me!

I’ve tried a LOT of homemade protein shakes, but I needed one that was low carb, low sugar AND I wanted it to taste creamy. I also loved the idea of hiding greens in my shakes for added nutrients.

That’s when I first heard about Okra milk shakes. The first one I tried was awful. But, I kept hearing raving reviews on how amazing these shakes were…so I tried again and again and again.

Long story short, I found out that by adding a little cottage cheese to your protein shakes it changes the texture and the taste. It literally transforms drab into an almost Frosty like texture.

This shake is so weird. And so good. And so healthy. The cool thing is you can modify the ingredients to make your own taste buds happy!

Creamy Chocolate Protein Shake

  • 1 1/2 Cup Almond Milk (I like unsweetened vanilla)
  • 1/2 Cup Crushed Ice
  • 1/2 Cup FROZEN okra or spinach (frozen is key here…otherwise…nasty)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon high quality chocolate baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Cottage Cheese
  • 1 Scoop Collagen Powder, unflavored
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Chia Seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 4 Teaspoons of Stevia

Start with the milk, crushed ice and greens. Blend, blend, and blend some more. Then add the remaining ingredients.

Blend until smooth and creamy. The texture should be slightly icy like a frosty! Oddly enough, the cinnamon takes the edge off the stevia without overpowering the chocolate.

PS. Have you join by Facebook Group for bloggers to help grow your site?
~ Heather

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